What are young people’s values and how are these different from older generations’ values in Georgia?
[Note: This blog post summarizes the findings of an article written by CRRC-Georgia researcher Tamar Khoshtaria and published in The Journal of Beliefs and Values in August, 2017.]
As Georgian society is going through social and cultural changes, it is important to understand people’s beliefs and values. Comparing the values of young people to those of the older generations is also important. This blog post summarizes the findings of a study that examined the values of young people aged 18 to 25, and analysed how these values are different from the values of older people in Georgia, based on both quantitative (World Values Survey, 2014) and qualitative data (40 in-depth interviews conducted in 2016). The study looked at values, perceptions, attitudes and tolerance towards different minority groups in Georgia. It concludes that in many cases, the younger generation shares more modern views and values, while the older generations are more inclined to support traditional values and hold conservative points of view.
The study used Shalom H. Schwartz’s theory of basic values, which identifies ten basic values:
- Self-direction: Independent thought and action-choosing, creating, exploring;
- Stimulation: Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life;
- Hedonism: Pleasure and sensuous gratification for oneself;
- Achievement: Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards;
- Power: Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources;
- Security: Safety, harmony and stability of society, of relationships, and of self;
- Conformity: Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms;
- Tradition: Respect, commitment and acceptance of the customs and ideas that traditional culture or religion provide the self;
- Benevolence: Preservation and enhancement of the welfare of people with whom one is in frequent personal contact;
- Universalism: Understanding, appreciation, tolerance and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature.
In his empirical work, Schwartz used short verbal portraits which describe a person as having a certain goal, aspiration or wish and point implicitly to one of the ten value types. After hearing a verbal portrait, respondents had to evaluate to what extent the person described was like or not like him or her. These verbal portraits were used during the 2014 World Values Survey (WVS) conducted in Georgia. During qualitative interviews (conducted independently from the WVS), respondents could provide detailed accounts of their attitudes.
The quantitative and qualitative data show similar results. Quantitative data analysis suggests that Schwartz’s higher-ordered values ‘conservation’ (which includes the basic values of ‘security’, ‘conformity’, and ‘tradition’) and ‘self-transcendence’ (which includes the basic values of ‘benevolence’ and ‘universalism’) are very important for people of all age groups in Georgia. Over 70% in all age groups evaluated the persons described in the verbal portraits representing these five basic values as being ‘very much like them’ or ‘like them.’ When it comes to these basic values, the young generation, in general, does not differ much from the older generations.
On the other hand, there are some values which were assessed quite differently by people in different age groups. When looking at the basic values ‘self-direction’, ‘stimulation’, and ‘hedonism’ (representing the higher-ordered value of ‘openness to change’), there are differences by age group. Compared to older generations, a larger share of young people identified themselves with a person to whom it is important to think up new ideas, take risks, and have a good time.
Similarly, the basic values of ‘achievement’ and ‘power’ (representing the higher-order value of ‘self-enhancement’) have been assessed differently by young people and people of older generations. While being successful is important for 66% of young people, the share is lower among older people. In addition, while ‘being rich, and having a lot of money and expensive things’ was not reported as an important value in Georgia, the share of those valuing this kind of ‘power’ is slightly larger among young respondents than it is among the older ones.
The second part of the study focused on tolerance towards different minority groups, measured by a question about which groups of people respondents would not want as their neighbours. The least tolerated group in Georgia is homosexuals. People of all generations would not like to have them as their neighbours. Still, the answers of young people suggest more tolerance and openness to different minority groups.
Note: A show card was used for this question. Respondents could name as many answer options as they wanted.
While some values (e.g. ‘security’, ‘conformity’, ‘tradition’, ‘benevolence’, and ‘universalism’) are almost equally important to young and old people in Georgia, the young generation identifies more with values like ‘self-direction’, ‘stimulation’, ‘hedonism’, and ‘achievement’. In addition, the young generation is slightly more tolerant towards different minority groups.
For detailed results, see the full article in the Journal of Beliefs and Values.
Interview by Dustin Gilbreath
By: Dustin Gilbreath
CRRC’s third annual Methodological Conference: Transformations in the South Caucasus and its Neighbourhood
[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the third blog post in the series. Click here to see the first and second blog posts in the series.]
[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the second blog post in the series. Click here to see the first blog post.]
CRRC’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) was launched in 2009 as a Carnegie Corporation initiative within the CRRC, with the goal of providing on-the-job training opportunities in applied research for young social scientists.
In August 2012 CRRC launched the study of Georgia’s Workforce Development system, commissioned by the World Bank. Document review and key informant interviews have been used as main research methods in this study. On 19th of December, the World Bank office in Tbilisi hosted a workshop which aimed at presenting and validating the preliminary finding...
As Georgians prepare for parliamentary elections set for October 1, 2012, political parties have entered the final stage of the pre-elections race. One of the important attributes of active citizenship and civic engagement is voting in elections. This blog explores Georgians’ attitudes toward voting in elections based on age group and gender differences. In this r...
By Till Bruckner
By Nino Zubashvili
By Dustin Gilbreath
In terms of the business findings, CRRC's Media Survey (undertaken in September/October 2009) generated extensive data that is available to help media make good business decisions. One recent presentation, summarized here, focused on showing the diversity of data that is available.
Food Safety in Georgia: views from retailers, producers and consumers in Tbilisi and Samtskhe-Javakheti
Book Review | The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict and Nationhood in the Caucasus | Christoph Zürcher
Brookings Index of Regime Weakness | State Rebuilding or State Collapse in the Caucasus | The Annals of Data
Here are some basic tips and tricks we found useful.
Book Review: Georgia Diary: A Chronicle of War and Political Chaos in the Post-Soviet Caucasus | Thomas Goltz
Visa liberalization: How much do people in Georgia know about the conditions of visa-free travel to the EU?CRRC’s previous blog posts have shown that the population of Georgia had rather moderate expectations of the recent visa liberalization with the Schengen zone countries, especially when it comes to the question of how much ordinary people will benefit from it. Europe Foundation’s latest survey on Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia, conducted in May 2017, provides a more nuanced understanding on how people in Georgia feel about this process and to what extent they are familiar with the conditions of visa liberalization.
Taking partly free voters seriously: autocratic response to voter preferences in Armenia and GeorgiaDo voters in less than democratic contexts matter or are elections simply facades used to create a veneer of democratic accountability for domestic and international actors? Within the Autocratic Response to Voter Preferences in Armenia and Georgia project, funded by Academic Swiss Caucasus Net, CRRC-Georgia and CRRC-Armenia aimed to help answer this question, at least for Georgia and Armenia. On October 27, Caucasus Survey published the results of the project in a special issue, available here.
On December 1-13, 2016, CRRC-Georgia asked the population of Georgia about their New Year’s plans. Unsurprisingly, people mostly follow established traditions. A large majority (73%) plan to ring in the New Year at home. Nine per cent will meet it in a friend’s or a relative’s home. Meeting the New Year in the street or in a restaurant or a café is not yet common, and only one per cent of people in Georgia plan to do so. Another 15% had not decided in the first half of December where they would celebrate the New Year.
In the December 2017 CRRC/NDI survey, pollution was the second most commonly named “infrastructural” issue, with 23% of the population choosing it in the respective show card. Only roads were named more often, by 33%. Approximately equal shares of men and women named pollution: 25% of women and 20% of men; similarly, there was no difference in the frequency of naming this issue by age.
The Caucasus Barometer survey regularly asks people, “Which of the following statements do you agree with: “‘People are like children; the government should take care of them like a parent’ or ‘Government is like an employee; the people should be the bosses who control the government.’” Approximately half of the population of Georgia (52%) agreed in 2017 with the former statement and 40% with the latter. Responses to this question have fluctuated to some extent over time, but overall, attitudes are nearly equally split.
In early December 2017, two schoolchildren were killed on Khorava Street in Tbilisi. On May 31st, 2018, Tbilisi City Court announced the decision on the Khorava Street murder case. The announcement caused mass demonstrations led by Zaza Saralidze, a father of one of the murdered children.On June 19-26, 2018, within the EU-funded project “Facilitating Implementation of Reforms in the Judiciary (FAIR)”, CRRC-Georgia conducted a phone survey on people’s knowledge about the Court decision and their evaluation. The survey resulted in 1005 completed interviews, and is representative of the adult Georgian-speaking population of the country. The average margin of error of the survey is 2.8%.
Livestock care and livestock-related decision making in rural Georgia: Are there any gender differences?CRRC-Georgia’s survey conducted in August 2017 for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) asked about livestock owned by rural households in Georgia, including cows, bulls, buffalo, pigs, sheep, and goats. Cows and bulls were reported to be owned most commonly. Some of the questions the project addressed the division of tasks between men and women in taking care of livestock, while other questions tried to find out whether there were gender differences in making major decisions related to livestock and livestock products.
The 2018 presidential elections, and particularly, the events surrounding the second round, have come to be considered a setback for Georgia’s democratic trajectory. Between the first and second round, it was announced that 600,000 voters would have debt relief immediately following the elections, leading some to suggest this was a form of vote buying. A number of instances of electoral fraud were also alleged. The use of party coordinators around election precincts was also widely condemned.
But what do people want?
Georgians are enthusiastic in supporting the country’s accession to the European Union. Since 2012, when the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC-Georgia started tracking attitudes, three quarters of Georgians approved of the government’s goal of joining the EU, on average. What motivates Georgians to support the Union, or alternatively, to abandon support? A survey experiment included in the latest CRRC/NDI poll suggests potential economic burdens have a modest yet significant effect on support for membership. Results do not support the common belief that a potential military threat from Russia dampens Georgians’ support for the EU.
While many things could divide the public, what do the people think and which groups report more and fewer sources of division? The April 2019 NDI-CRRC poll suggests that there are fewer perceived reasons for division in rural areas and among ethnic minorities.
The 2019 survey on Knowledge and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia which CRRC Georgia carried out for Europe Foundation suggests that this trend is continuing in Georgia.
Survey experiment: more than a quarter of people in Georgia think that Prosecutor’s Office fulfills its duties non-objectivelySeveral blog posts (see here and here) on Social Science in the South Caucasus have shown that the population of Georgia is split in their views of the Prosecutor’s Office (PO). In the phone survey held in March 2019, carried out for the Promoting Prosecutorial Independence through Monitoring and Engagement (PrIME) project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information, CRRC-Georgia carried out a survey experiment to better understand under what circumstances people trust and do not trust the Prosecutor’s Office.
In Georgia, having a boy has traditionally been desirable as sons are often considered the main successors in the family line, and they stay at home to take care of their parents as they age in contrast to women who traditionally move in with their husband’s family.
The long-fought-over electoral reform was a compromise which represents two steps forward after three steps had been taken back.
The findings reflect broader global trends which have seen dramatic decreases in air pollution levels in China, Italy, and the United Kingdom.